ESSEX – It’s often said that being a stay-at-home parent is one of the toughest jobs around. But for one new ‘dad’ in Essex county, England, the work has come to feel like second nature.
‘Dad’, it should be noted, is actually a 10-year-old Labrador named Fred who’s best known for being the resident dog at Mountfitchet Castle, a major tourist attraction near Stansted Airport. While his canine counterparts may be entering their Golden Years (in dog years, 10 is closer in age to 60), Fred, on the other hand, has found a new lease on life thanks to an adorable crop of ducklings.
The baby birds recently found themselves orphaned after their mother mysteriously disappeared last Thursday. Rather than let them waddle around the castle grounds alone and afraid, Fred stepped up and manned up by filling in for their missing mom.
According to staff, Fred “immediately took to them and has been babysitting ever since”, reports BBC. The ducklings have since never left his side, sleeping next to him in his dog bed and even joining him in the castle moat for a swim.
“They absolutely adore him and he has now resigned himself to being a stay-at-home dad looking after the nine baby ducklings,” said Jeremy Goldsmith, one of the castle’s owners.
Goldsmith added that after a few weeks, the ducklings will be free to stay at the castle or leave. But judging by how lovable Fred is, who would ever want to leave him?